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Key Advancements in Airbags, Introduction of Front Center Airbags and Inflatable Seatbelts to Augment Demand

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Published on : Mar 25, 2016

The globally rising awareness on safety and the increasing research and development for developing smarter and cheaper airbags are amongst the chief factors fuelling the automotive airbag market. In addition, the soaring count of car productions has also impacted the market positively. There have been a number of advancements in the market for automotive airbags in the past few years. The future car airbag technology will be able to make driving safer. The prime advances have been discussed as under:

  • Knee Airbags: This airbag is small and has been designed for minimizing injuries in the lower limbs owing to the reason that they are in contact with the dashboard. These airbags are placed in the footwell, below the steering column on the side of the driver and below the glove box at the side of the passenger. The New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) testing has encouraged a number of new automakers to install knee airbags. For instance, Ford has introduced a new passenger knee airbag at the 2015 Ford Mustang. 
  • Front Center Airbags: General Motors had launched its front center airbag at the 2013 Buick Enclave, Chevrolet Traverse, and GMC Acadia midsize crossovers. This airbag has been placed at the driver’s right side and is positioned in a way between the seats’ front row next to the center of the vehicle. It has been made to present restraint in case of passenger-side crashes and also plays the role of an energy-absorbing cushion between the front passenger and the driver in case of both passenger-die and driver-side crashes. 
  • Inflatable Seatbelts: Ford had introduced inflatable rear seatbelts at the 2011 Ford Explorer. These are actually a cross between a seatbelt and an airbag. Inflatable seatbelts have been designed for the reduction of the injuries of the chest, head, and neck for seat passengers, which can often be elderly people or children, more vulnerable to injuries like these. These seatbelts have also been designed for other Ford vehicles including the Lincoln lineup and Flex. 

Hence, in the coming years, there will be increased advancements in ‘active safety’ including lane departure warnings and pre-collision systems for the prevention of accidents. These will include car crumple zones, for minimizing injuries in case of an accident. Thus, the market for automotive airbags is poised to grow in the coming years. 

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